Sustainable You

Sustainability and the Built Environment

Wk 6: Energy Vampire

Response due at the beginning of class on 9/24.

"Buy this attitude - Save Energy" Photo by Orocain

"Buy this attitude - Save Energy" Photo by Orocain

Take a glance at this  media article regarding the fact and fictions of energy consumption. The author,Lori Bongiorno, does a good job breaking down “Energy Vampires: Fact versus Fiction.” I found the information really helpful because I often hear things about what I should be doing, but I don’t really know why I should be doing it, or what is the real benefit, if any. Articles like this make it easier for me to tackle the fact vs. fiction aspect of energy consumption issues.

After reading the article, ponder and share your thoughts with us regarding the following questions:

1. What types of standby power productsfrom the list made by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) did you see that when compared in the ON/OFF status made you want to consider turning them off when not in use?

2. Watch the “Lose your excuse” Commercial running on TV right made by the Department of Energy – Share your thoughts on the commercial (see section energy EXTRAS, then see VIDEOS, the video with April cracks me up). What are your thoughts about these types of PSA (public service announcements)?

4.  Please visit Georgia Power’s page for Home Saving Tips.  Take the “Virtual House Tour” for as many rooms as you like, but definitely for the HOME OFFICE.  Seeing this 3-D rendering and tour of a home office and ways to make it more energy efficient may stimulate ideas for you to show sustainability in your home office perspective for board 3.  What information on the GP website did you read and learn from?

3.  Do you think it is important for you to be  knowledgable on energy consumption issues and solutions when you enter into your future career?

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Filed under: Energy, Sustainable Design, Weekly Assignment, , , ,

18 Responses

  1. Laura M. says:

    1. It makes me want to unplug my phone and iPod charger when I’m not using them. I definitely leave my printer unplugged now. I would like to unplug the surround sound subwoofer, but unfortunately it’s not mine to touch. If I could unplug the microwave I would, but it would reset the clock every time. I’ve unplugged the printer because it also has a fax machine and scanner on it that take up too much power when not in use.
    2. Those commercial crack me up. Unfortunately it’s one of those things that people say “It doesn’t take up that much power, so I’ll just leave it alone” or “A few dollars extra won’t make a difference.” These people I think either always make excuses for everything or don’t care how they spend their money (or have some money to spare). Some people are annoyed with the “green” talk and they think it doesn’t affect them. They see it as “It won’t ever affect me” until it actually happened to them. I think these PSAs help the public remember that it’s the little things that they do that will help save on their energy bill. When they make it funny, it doesn’t make people feel like they’re having a finger pointed at them.
    3. The most helpful and interesting thing that I learned from the website was that you can schedule a free Energy Audit with Georgia Power and they will tell you ways you can save on your personal home energy bill. I don’t know many ways to save energy through the attic, but the website showed a few ways like putting metal flashing on the fireplace gaps in your chimney. Another interesting thing I learned is that putting an older refrigerator in the garage can waste up to $90 per year in energy costs. Refrigerator built before 1993 can waste much more energy than the ones made after 1993. I learned that Georgia Power also contributes to environmental protection agencies throughout the year. Having a thermostat that can reduce the amount of air conditioning and heating used when you are not there is better than having a thermostat that keeps it at the same temperature all day.
    4. I think that it is very important to know about energy consumption now and in our future careers. With the economy in a recession and not knowing when it will get better, people want to save money in every area that they can. Knowing where to save this money when power bills can be sky high is very important. The biggest bill (besides the mortgage) that we pay is our power bill. We use so much unnecessary power that we can easily adjust. I think that as the years pass, we will develop more on energy efficiency and that it isn’t just a phase. There are more incentives every year for saving energy and buying product that support saving energy. If a customer asks me “why and how will this help me save on energy?” I want to be able to effectively answer their questions. I think that the people who know very little about energy consumption and ways to save on energy will be left behind. The government is pushing energy consumption more as well and so we know that this isn’t just a trend.

  2. Lila Wilson says:

    1. After looking at the list and reading the article I now feel like I should be turning off many of the items in my home. First, I noticed my laser printer because I don’t usually turn if off fully even though I don’t use it everyday. When it’s on it uses 138 watts as opposed to the 2 watts if would use if I turned it off, a huge difference. I also realized we need to start turning off our cable box. I used to always turn off the cable and the tv but now we are in the habit of just turning off the television and leaving the cable box on at all times, this wastes 25 watts and it isn’t even being used. My laptop is another thing I should think more about because I rarely shut it all the way off, instead I leave it hibernating which uses twice as much energy as if it were turned off. I also have a habit of leaving my cell phone plugged in even after it has fully charged the battery which uses almost as much energy as the act of actually charging the battery.

    2. I think these types of PSAs will have an impact on the public for a few different reasons. First I think it was a wise decision for the makes to use kids and target them in the announcement since we need to start out teaching them about energy conservation early so it sticks with them the rest of their lives. Another reason this ad works is because it sort of accused adults of not saving, saying that “kids are using energy wisely” why aren’t you? Many PSAs do not work because they are too serious and people don’t want to watch them, but introducing humor into this ad works well and makes people want to watch until the end to see the “punch line” of the commercial. The trouble with making a PSA is that they can be easily ignored, this one works because it catches the viewers interest.

    3. On the Georgia Power website I was particulary interested by the online thermostat which showed the percentage of price increase you pay for every degree you set your thermostat above the recommended summer and winter settings. I never really think about prices when I set my thermostat, although I do try to consider the extra energy and turn it down when I don’t need it or when I’m not at home. I also took the virtual tour and learned how to save energy and money in different areas of the house. I had never considered bringing a home auditor to my house to inspect the energy saving efficiency because I didn’t realize that job existed.

    4. People are becoming more and more aware of the energy they are using and wasting, as well as how much it is costing them. Having knowledge of energy consumption and conservation will be necessary in this field in the future because clients will wants specific design solutions for their energy problems. This could include using only Energy Star certified appliances or having a charging station located somewhere in the house where they can quickly and easily charge all their electronics and also easily unplug and store the adapters.

  3. Lauren Lee says:

    1.After reading the article, I realized there are several items I can unplug to lower energy consumption in my house. I leave my phone charger plugged in all day even when it is not charging my phone. While it “only uses 1 watt”, the price can add up over time and can end up costing a fair amount of money. I also leave my printer plugged in and turned on which can use up to 22 watts of energy just on standby. Another one of my bad habits is leaving my computer plugged in at night. It can use on average 54.8 watts on sleep mode. I believe I will reconsidered my computer’s hibernation settings.

    2.I really enjoyed the videos on the “Lose You Excuse” website. This type of public service announcement, in my opinion, would be extremely effective advertised. While it is harder to teach a old dog new tricks (adult), children are always ready to learn new concepts and ideas with a creative twist. By using humor and a recognizable public figure, the commercials can grab the child’s interest and keep it throughout the showing. The children are then able to relay the information to their parents through a simple statement such as “leaving that (the phone cord) in the wall uses energy up” or “those light bulbs can save energy” and will not only make their parents think twice about energy consumption. Even though as a child, one believes adults do not listen, in reality, they actually do.

    3.The Georgia Power website was beneficial in understanding how one can save energy consumption not only in the home office but throughout the entire house. One of the main concepts I took from the website was the importance of purchasing efficient equipment in the home such as ENERGY STAR appliances and compact fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs can save upwards of 75% more than incandescent bulbs and last 10 times longer. I did not know that turning a ceiling fan on as opposed to turning the thermostat up 2 degrees can save 14% on energy consumption on heating and cooling a house. It also recommended to use a low wattage CFL for cooler more energy efficient bulbs. I am going to try using more fans in my apartment to lower the cost of the power bill.

    4.To enter into this demanding and limited job market, it is important for us as students to find ways to stand out in the crowd. With the increased interest in “going green” and the hurting economy, learning about energy consumption in a home will not only give us an edge in the job market, but allow us to design more comfortable and efficient (sustainable) homes for our clients.

  4. Katherine Ward says:

    1. I have always been bad about leaving items plugged in when they aren’t in use. One of the biggest things that I saw on the list was the laser printer or multifunction device. I don’t know if I have ever turned it off completely or unplugged it and I don’t even use it that much. Other items were computers, between the two of us, we have three computers and they are on a lot. I don’t feel like there is much to do about the microwave but it does use a lot of energy when in use so you could maybe use it less. I need to unplug certain items like our cell phone chargers and hair appliances, etc.

    2.I think that these commercials were very cute and are probably extremely effective with kids. If kids grow up hearing about energy conservation, it will probably be second nature to them to do simple tasks such as turning off lights and unplugging chargers.

    3. Georgia Power has a great website filled with ideas for energy savings. The coolest thing is that you can get a free energy audit in your house! That is the greatest idea ever because I feel like a lot of what we hear about as a consumer are the big ideas that can sometimes be time consuming and pricey, but there are so many small things that people could learn to do.

    4. It is extremely important for me to be knowledgeable about energy conservation and sustainability for the field that we will be working in. The more knowledgeable I am might give me a leg up on my competition but more importantly if a client asks me a question I want to be able to answer to the best of my abilities, and it is hard for me to believe that I wouldn’t have clients that would ask about sustainability because it is becoming a more ‘popular’ topic. People are becoming more and more interested on ways that they can change. The way I see it, I can design and build houses for low-mid income families or I can build mansions and the client will always be interested in saving money on their energy bills and if they can do some good for the environment at the same time, who is going to say no?

  5. Katherine Platzer says:

    1. After looking at the list, there are several items that I could unplug while not in use. At night, I put my computer into standby mode because it takes a lot of time to start up in the morning, but I think now I will try to turn it off every night, or at least more often. I could also consider unplugging my phone charger during the day because I only use it at night. I could also unplug my printer and then plug it in only when I will be using it, because I keep it plugged in even though I don’t use it that often. Another item, my coffee maker, could be unplugged as well. According to the chart it doesn’t waste that much, but I don’t use the timer/time function. In fact, the time is still flashing from the last time the power went out. So unplugging would not be a burden.

    2. I absolutely loved these commercials. My first thought is how great it is that they are using kids in them. Not only does this get the attention of children but it is a message for adults that “it’s so easy, kids can understand and do it”. Kids hopefully will learn things from this type of announcement and pass the information along to other members of the family. The commercial was clear and straight to the point, without being negative and degrading, like other public service announcements. It had enough humor to keep my attention. I believe other public service announcements are very important and make the people aware of possible problems in the community.

    3. By touring the home, I recognized that you can take very small measures such as using CFL lightbulbs, or buying energy efficient appliances and can reduce energy consumption by a huge amount. Another major factor of energy waste is the temperature of your thermostat. I did not know that for every degree set above or below the recommended temperature, your energy consumption increases by 3-5% by each degree. It is hard to imagine how much that is but when I went to the online thermostat, it is very clear how fast the energy consumption can go up. I was also surprised by the fact that over 50% (52%)of our energy bills pay for heating and cooling. That is such a large amount! Another thing that I learned was how much refrigerators in the garage waste electricity (because they are located in an unconditioned area.) At home we have an extra refrigerator in the garage, and most people in my area do as well. I thought it was a common and normal thing to do but after looking at the waste, I will consider not having one in my home.

    4. It is imperative that I am aware of these issues as I become a professional. Not only do I need to be aware of the problems, but I need to be knowledgeable of possible solutions. As more and more people use more and more resources, we must find a way to conserve and as a designer, when we implement new items and ideas for clients, I need to make sure that the decisions I make give my client and the environment the best possible outcome.

  6. Margaret Reid says:

    1. There are definitely a few things I could start doing around my house to save energy. I first should stop leaving my phone charging all night because it only takes and hour or two to fully charge. I also need to stop leaving my laptop plugged in when it is fully charged or off. Lastly, I should start unplugging my tv when I am not using and also my dvd player. Sometimes I leave my dvd player one when I’m not using it, but I should either turn it off, or even better unplug it.

    2. I actually think this PSA is pretty affective. It is not a long commercial giving too much information that you don’t want to pay attention to. They have kept it short, and it also is very humorous. They also used kids throughout the commercial which I think also made it much more affective to the veiwer.

    3. There were a few things I read on Georgia Power’s Virtual House Tour that I found very helpful. In the office, it said to use a computer and monitor that enters isleep mode after a certain amount of time. The tour also said to seal holes around outlets with an inexpensive outlet gasket which I did not know before. In bathrooms you should use ENERGY STAR ventilation and keep all floor vents throughout the home clear of obstructions to have a steady air flow.

    4. I think it is very important for me to be aware of how people waste energy from day to day and what the ways are to stop this. As a designer, it is important to know how to solve many problems throughout the home and right now, being “green” and saving energy is huge. It would be hard for me to be completely successful as a designer if I am not aware of what design is dealing with currently. Most people are interested in conserving energy throughout their homes, but alot of them don’t know how to go about it. My job is to educate people on how to save energy, but that would be impossible if I did not research into this and understand it for myself.

  7. Ashley Sellen says:

    1. The list proved to be an eye-opener for what I can do around my house to save energy. I should only charge my phone when it needs it; about every other day, and when it is done charging, unplug the charger from the wall. Secondly, if my laptop is fully charged, I should take it off the power cord and use the battery. If I am not using my computer, I should turn it off and unplug it from the wall. I had no idea computers used so much energy in the sleep mode. Along with unplugging my computer, I should also unplug my printer when it is not in use, which is the majority of the time. I really should unplug my DVD player as well because not only is it using up energy, it doesn’t work, so I’m using unnecessary energy.

    2. I’ve seen these commericals on TV and thought they were very clever. I feel as if they relay a good message, but I’m not sure if they truly get the point across to most Americans. Commercials can be great tools for PSA, the Truth commercials being a perfect example, but I feel like if they are not using something truly gripping then they are easily forgotten. I always remember the Truth commericals because they use specific facts and statistics and always come up with a unique way to get their points across. I have seen these energy commercials a couple of times before and although they are humorous and cute, I forgot that I had even seen them until they popped up on my screen.

    3. In the home office it said to use outlet gaskets to seal holes around outlets, which I did not know were created by outlets. Using multifunctional devices are also a great way to save energy. I knew they were convienent, but it never occured to me that they could be deemed as energy saving. I also did not know that the Energy Start label went as far as testing cordless phones. Now I’ll know that an Energy Star cordless phone is the only way to go. CFL’s are also made to comply with dimmer switches, so now there are no excuses not to have CFL’s all throughout the home.

    4. I believe it is extremely important to be knowledgable on energy consumption issues in my career. It is the job of the designer not only to design, but to also educate. When designing, it is best to incorporate any energy saving ideas you can, but there are some things you, as the designer, cannot control. This is when educating the client comes into play. You can tell the client how to lower energy costs by picking certain appliances, but you can also go the extra mile and tell them how they can maximize their savings, by doing little extra things around the house in their daily activities. Also, technology changes by the day so it is important to keep educating yourself so you can better stay on top of energy saving ideas.

  8. Tiffany Ward says:

    1. After looking at LBNL chart, I definitely feel the need to start turning my notebook computer off more. I usually leave my computer in sleep mode overnight so it will start up quickly in the morning, but now that I know it uses 15.77 watts of power with virtually no purpose, I will try to remember to turn it off more often. I am also very surprised that cable and DVR devices use up so much energy when they are turned off. I do not know that it is really practical to unplug it every day, especially because my apartment’s space plan, but I will be much more aware of its energy consumption and try to be prudent with cable connection planning in the future.

    2. Although pretty cheesy, I really enjoyed the Lose Your Excuse PSAs. In my advertising class, we just got finished talking about how the three best ways to grabs an audience’s attention is with bikinis, beagles, and babies (including kids), and it worked for me in this PSA. I especially liked that this ad did not take itself too seriously. I know energy consumption is a topic that can get heated, but incorporating the children kept it light and funny without undermining the cause. I think kids and adults alike will appreciate this ad and its message.

    3. Wow—my favorite message from the Georgia Power website was on the kitchen page. When I clicked on the dishwasher, it explained that many dishwashers (including Energy Star qualified models) are more than capable of completely cleaning plates and dishes that have had food scraped off; it does not have to be rinsed off! It has always annoyed me beyond belief that my grandmother insists we rinse the dishes off before putting them in the dishwasher—what’s the point of the machine if I have to wash them first? Plus, it is a huge waste of water even more than washing in the sink basin because during rinse, the water is constantly running.

    I also found it interesting that dimmable CFLs are available. It noted that they are not readily stocked in stores yet, but it is good to know that they are at least available online.

    4. Absolutely. Energy consumption is not hardly my life’s passionate cause yet, but I definitely appreciate today’s research and understand that my generation needs to be sensible with our resources so we will have water, minerals, and a planet to pass down to our children. From my career standpoint, I think it is important for me to have at least a working knowledge of energy consumption issues in a residential interiors aspect. Though I’ll never be an expert in all fields of interior design, if people hire me as a professional in the housing industry, I hope they would feel comfortable coming to me for knowledge and resources about these areas, even if they are not my design specialty.

  9. Mhyria Miller says:

    1) After reading the article and looking at the list, I noticed there are many items I can be more conscious of, and unplug when not in use. First of all, I have never unplugged my phone charger. I only use it a couple hours a day, so that is one area I could work on. Also, when I don’t take my computer to class, I keep it on at home. I rarely turn it off because of how long it takes to load up, but it’s an area I need to be aware of because it uses about twice as much energy if I keep it on. Another item I can unplug when not in use is my printer. I rarely use it, yet it is always plugged in with my computer.

    2) I enjoyed watching these commercials. I thought they were very effective because they’re targeting people of all ages. By incorporating kids in their commercial it can keep children’s attention and educate them while still incorporating humor into the commercial. Also, adults can relate and learn by these commercials because it sends the message in a positive, easy to understand fashion.

    3) After browsing the Georgia Power website there were a couple areas that really grabbed my attention. First, at home my mom always had a rule that our thermostat had to stay on a certain setting. Growing up my brother and I would go crazy and not understand why we couldn’t make it cooler. This website showed how much price increase percentage wise for every degree you change your thermostat above or below the recommended summer and winter settings. Also, a helpful tip I picked up was setting your computer to a setting where it will enter sleep mode after an allotted time.

    4) I believe it is absolutely necessary to be knowledgeable on energy consumption issues and solutions when I enter my future career not only to implement them into my practices, but also be able to educate future clients. I can design environmentally friendly and implement ENERGY STAR appliances, but my work will only go so far. It is up to the designers to educate the clients so they can continue to be aware and make responsible choices.

  10. Addison Ruffin says:

    1. I had no idea how much energy is wasted by certain electronics. After reading the LBNL list there are many adjustments I will make when it comes to turning off and unplugging these electronics. The main changes I will make will be my DVD player, radio, TV, printer, phone charger, and especially my laptop! Before now, I had not considered how much of an effect these products had on my daily energy usage. I will definitely try to improve the sustainability of my lifestyle by turning off these fixtures.

    2. Both of these commercials were very effective. They target a younger audience that is less aware of the effect that their electronics have on energy use. However, the humor and message also appeals to and is useful for adults. I think that using comedy to convey a serious message is a smart and efficient way to educate people on how to promote of more sustainable household. The website as a whole is very creative (especially the kids game). I like how the website makes thinking about energy fun. Kids are always playing video games and it is good to have one that promotes saving energy instead of killing people and stealing stuff. The accessibility of this website to people of varying ages is the most remarkable aspect. These types of PSAs are effective because all groups of people can view and understand them. They are announcements that the general public can relate to and act upon. Overall the site is very beneficial to viewers and arouses interest.

    3. I definitely think that it is important for my future career that I am educated in types of energy consumption issues. I need to know which appliances and electronic consume the most energy and how to minimize their energy use. Being able to tell a client how to conserve energy will impress them and help to lower their utility bills. Also, it will lead to a more energy efficient world. Starting to educated people one family at a time is going to make a big difference in the long run. Knowing how to save energy will also help me personally because it will lower my costs both at home and at the office and I will be able to spend that money on things that are more exciting than powering a charged computer.

  11. Addison Ruffin says:

    didnt see number 4…
    4)The Georgia Power tour gave me lots to think about. The thing that struck me most about the home office was using multifunction devices (ie a printer that copies and faxes and is a phone). I never thought about the fact that using one machine for all of these functions would cut down on power costs. Other interesting things I learned from the website that will influence my design on the third presentation board are that CFL bulbs use 75% less energy thatn regular light bulbs and Computers and other electronic devices that arent in sleep mode can heat up enough to cause the air conditioning to work harder. These are things i had not considered but will definitely help to make our office a more sustainable area.

  12. Katie L Robertson says:

    1. After looking at the list I realized that it would probably be good way to save energy and money would be to unplug my printer, phone charger, and unplug my computer AC adapter when I’m not charging it and even not charge my laptop when it doesn’t need to be.

    2. I thought that these commercial are really cute and funny. I think this is a great way to make kids aware of issues of conservation of energy. It also shows children easy ways that they can help the environment. The commercials even hooked me!

    3. One of the suggestions that Georgia Power gives in the virtural tour the home office is to put computer monitors and modem towers in sleep mode. I never thought about that doing this could actually help to make sure that your house stays cooler, saving you money on your air conditioning and not putting as much stress on the unit. Another thing mentioned that could be implemented throughout the whole house is to use outlet gaskets. This can help keep air conditioning from and by sealing the holes around the outlet. Georgia Power also suggest using multi-functional devices like a printer scanner fax. This helps save power because you don’t have three separate units plugged into an outlet using energy, you just have one.

    4. I feel that it is very crucial for me to knowledgeable in energy consumption. It is something easy for us as designers to go ahead and apply to our designs, so that clients and consumers are prepared and have a house that can save energy. It also helps because we are then able to further educate the clients and homeowners so they can then save more energy.

  13. Meredith Tannehill says:

    1. Unfortunately I had no idea that many of the items on the LBNL list used so much energy when in the off mode until now. My biggest issues I found a relationship with was leaving my cell phone charger plugged in all day even when I am not charging my phone, leaving both my printer and laptop on just in standby mode, leaving the cable box on and just turning the television on and off when necessary, and leaving my handheld dirt devil vacuum plugged in even when not in use. I kind of knew that leaving my computer and printer on all day everyday was probably not energy efficient but with the other items I was absolutely clueless about. It makes sense that these objects would use energy even while not being put to use and after reading the stats definitely makes me want to turn some of this technology off on a regular basis.
    2. I have seen the commercial with April on television before I thought it was hysterical. I find both of these videos to not only be humorous but educational as well. By using children to convey this serious topic of conserving energy not only can adults understand the meaning but more importantly children can find a common ground with the message and take such issues into their own hands. By teaching them young about ways to conserve energy on a daily basis, especially now that children in elementary and middle school are getting cell phones, they will grow with this knowledge and pass it along to friends and family. By using the children to make a serious issue a little more approachable adults might bring it up in conversation more ultimately spreading the word about ways to better save energy.
    3. I think the Georgia Power Virtual Tour is an amazing site to visit, especially for individuals who are new to the concept of sustainability in home design. In the home office tour I thought it was very interesting that EnergyStar makes telephones that have ismart charging applications that help to reduce that extra energy wasted when technology is fully charged and basically just sitting around. I found too that the EnergyStar multi-function devices equipped with print, fax, copy, scanner, combined with DVD and VHS players is an excellent item to have when looking to save energy. It also saves you space for storing what would be potentially four different pieces of technology. Other features that I found to be unique was the EnergyStar ventilation units used to exhaust fumes out of the bathroom as well as circulating air vents throughout the home. I had no clue that exhaust fans in bathrooms used so much energy but learned that with a simple energy conserving ventilation system you can use 65% less energy- that’s crazy!! The site also mentioned that keeping vents clear of curtains and furniture would help the air to move more freely through the home keeping temperatures consist and comfortable for everyone.
    4. With a doubt absolutely! As the design career grows with knowledge on how to better conserve energy and our society today becomes more wrapped up in the conditions of being “green” I think it is crucial that as a designer I will need to keep up with my energy conservation facts. Although sustainable design is not my area of choice I still think it will only benefit my career in the long run and make me look like a reliable source who keeps up with what is growing, changing, and becoming more of a concern with the design industry. Just because I am not particularly crazy about sustainable doesn’t mean my clients won’t be either- besides it is healthy knowledge that everyone should be a little familiar with.

  14. Alice Knowlton says:

    1. I didn’t realize how many products used up so much energy. A lot of the biggest energy users are things that I keep plugged in all of the time, unfortunately, such as my clock, my iPod player, and my tv. I also thought it was really interesting that the range uses significantly less energy than a tv. For some reason I assumed that a product that is used for cooking would use more energy than something that people use to watch tv. I will be much more aware of the things I plug in from now on.

    2. I thought both of those commercials were fabulous! They are entertaining, but still get the point across about saving energy. And they are perfect for all audiences, especially children, who are more likely to be unaware of the environmental results of leaving cell phone chargers plugged in or not using CFL bulbs in light fixtures.

    3. Yes, I do. I think that this issue is something that can longer be avoided in interior design. A lot of people would prefer to turn a blind eye to this issue, but I think that this attitude is fading quickly. It is important for designers to be knowledgeable about sustainability, so they can teach their clients how to live more responsibly.

    4. There are many ways to save energy in the home, and they are much easier than one would think. By putting your computer on sleep mode, it uses much less energy and stays cooler. If any table lamps are used in an office, CFL bulbs can save up to 70% more energy than regular bulbs and will help reduce the electric bill and ultimately prevent you from buying new bulbs for longer periods of time.Luckily, ENERGY STAR appliances have made it easier for people to quickly pick out products that meet specific guidelines for energy efficiency. These products range from combination phone/fax machines and tv’s with dvd/vhs players. There is a virtual tour like this on the ENERGY STAR website called the Energy Star @ Home, which allows you to explore different areas of the home and provides tips and suggestions for making an energy efficient home.

  15. Kimberly Love says:

    1. Definitely charging my laptop because I have a bad habit of leaving the cord plugged in while I’m at home and it’s already fully charged. The fact that it could use up to 26.4 watts is a cringing thought because it would be perfectly plausible to unplug my cord when the computer is charged. Another item that caught my attention are printers and mine is a multifunction wireless inkjet, so I’m sure it uses near the max of 10.03 watts when not in use. It goes to “sleep” when nothing is being printed, so I wonder what the wattage use is when its asleep.

    2. I think the “Lose your excuse” commercials are interesting because the message is extremely necessary, but the audience target has me on the fence. I understand that tis PSA is aimed to teach kids the effects of energy vampires and the younger the better, but I think the parents could benefit from this message as well. Not to get into marketing, but showing “tweens” could get the attention of both the parents & kids simultaneously, especially with a touchy subject such as cell phones. The goal however is clear, whether or not the audience responds to who it is meant for.

    3. I really liked the interactive Georgia Power website. Even with all my exploration of the Energy Star website lately, I didn’t know there were Energy Star cordless phones & multifunction devices. These are easy items that should be chosen for an office in lieu of the energy inefficient counterparts. I also found it interesting that changing the temperature above or below the recommended temperature can change energy consumption by 3-5% with each degree. That is a huge revelation, which I was only slightly aware of, that could drastically change my electricity bill because I keep my thermostat at the same temperature all year.

    4. As far as energy vampire, it is difficult to get a client to unplug them. However, it is important as a for me to know about things like the thermostat, light bulbs, blinds, vents, and light fixtures so I can spec energy efficient alternatives for future projects. I could also suggest all of the Energy Star appliances and items and explain why they are affective and important.

  16. David Estes says:

    1. I am definetly going to be changing the way I do things within my house. These are simple steps to take like: unplugging my cell phone charger, ipod speaker/charger, unplugging my laptop when it is charged, no leaving the chargeable vacuum plugged in, turning off and unplugging my printer, and looking into the sleep mode and timer options for my big electronics. I am very anti T.V., and watch movies on my computer, so not having a TV and the gadgets that go with it is a huge energy saver. It is all about knowledge and I am going to spread this knowledge to those that I know to make an impact.

    2.Personally I think they are hysterical in a corny way, but great. We live in a world that is becoming based on technology and commercials are not only ran on television but the internet as well. Running these commercials is going to get peoples attention. I was affected by this commercial. Out of stupidity I did not even think that my cell phone charger was harboring energy even when my cell phone is not plugged in. After watching I told my boyfriend, roommate, family, and friends, and they have stopped leaving their chargers plugged in (true story in the life of David Estes).

    3.I briefly looked at each room and found the information basic and easy in preventing wasted energy. I knew that it was beneficial to buy Energy Star bulbs and appliances, caulk and close up surrounding areas around windows and doors, put shades over windows, keep an eye out for faulty appliances and leaky faucets. But, I had overlooked the benefits of buying electronics that are multifunctional, placing electronics on timers and sleep modes, buying Energy Star electronics, and placing covers on outlets so conditioned air does not leak. Again, these easy energy saving techniques were overlooked by lack of knowledge.

    4. It is definitely something that I want to and I am going to be knowledgeable of when I start designing. Our world does not have the resources for free flowing energy use, as we have started to see. We have to come to terms with this and as designers it is our responsibility to be aware and implement ways to save and conserve energy. We need to integrate and buy Energy Star products and be aware of how our projects are being built and put together. After the project is done we need to teach our clients

  17. ellie christopher says:

    1. It makes me want to reach behind my chest of drawers every time i’m done watching tv. I now turn my overhead fan off when i leave the room. I used to leave to on to keep my room cool, but now i know how much it costs me. I now keep all of my electronic equipment like iPod, printer, phone charger, etc unplugged before I leave for the day.

    2. I think that the commercials are really cute. They are a great way to get the message out to younger people who could then in turn tell other friends and make their family make some changes. I think that in order to get to an older target audience the subjects of the commercials should be a little older. I understand the message that the PSA is trying to accomplish, and I think that in the long run they could do a lot of good and save a lot of money for families.

    3. I thought the tour was really cool. I had no idea that Energy Star was so wide and encompassing as it is. I navigate the site pretty well, but I’m not a pro at it. I had no idea that you ca loose a significant amount of heated and cooled air from the receptors in outlets. I also found it interesting that by setting your computer to automatically go into sleep mode it would run so much cooler as to affect your heating and cooling bill.

    4. i think that it is really important for me to know in general how much energy a product will require even while turned off. I will not know all of them, but i could learn one or two that effect everyone to impress them with what i know. I also think that if i show a client that i have these really cool facts about how much energy their appliances use that they will feel like i am looking after me and will want to use me again in the future!

  18. David Jasper says:

    1. There are a lot of items that are on that list that I use on an everyday basis. Everything related to watching TV take up a lot of power as does everything related to a computer. I am aware that these things take up a good bit of power but I am still not going to unplug the cable modem and router every time they aren’t in use. Things like modems, routers, and TV accessories all are things that are used heavily and are things that must reboot and reset when you plug them back in. In my opinion the only thing that can really be done about this is have products that go into standby and use as little power as possible which is what many modern electronics do. However, phone charger and other chargers are a very easy fix; just unplug it when not in use. This is not a very hard thing to do because I usually drag my charger into whatever room I’m in anyway so I can just unplug it when I am done.

    2. PSA I think are a good and creative way to spread quality information. How else are people going to find out that they have energy vampires in their home other than Oprah? Using these commercials makes people aware of the situation and gives it to them from a reputable source. It also makes the issue seem less serious and that seems to make people respond better to the ads. If you tell people they must unplug their phone charger or the world will end they will probably just shut down and not do anything different.

    3. Home office equipment can be an especially big drain on a homes energy bill. It is good to set the equipment to turn off or hibernate as quickly as possible to waste as little energy as possible. New products like smart surge protectors can automatically turn off peripherals when the main computer is shut down.

    4. Yes I do believe it is important to be aware of energy use as a designer. We need to be aware for our sake and for our clients. We need to be able to educate our clients about what is best for there home and the environment as it relates to our designs.

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